The Allocation of Limited Authorisations and Grants in the European Member States

From 19 till 20 January 2012 Leiden University will host an international legal expert meeting on the allocation of limited authorisations and grants in the European member states. The expert meeting is being organised by the Institute for Public Law of Leiden University and the VU University Amsterdam Centre for Law and Governance. The aim of this event is to compare national experiences with allocation systems and transparency issues, aspects of competition law (e.g. State aid), and legal protection with regard to the allocation of limited authorisations and grants. Also the influence of EU law in national practices will be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to gambling licenses, CO2 emission permits, and radio frequencies. Sir Konrad Schiemann, judge at the Court of Justice of the EU, will be among the speakers.


Occasionally, the numbers of authorisations  (e.g. licences, approvals, permits and concessions) and grants (e.g. subsidies) available for certain activities are limited.  They are either limited because of natural reasons (e.g. radiofrequencies) or by intervention of public authorities (e.g. gambling licenses and emission rights).  Given the economic value of these rights, limitation usually leads to scarcity. The allocation of these limited rights by national authorities gives rise to new and unexplored legal questions, for instance on the selection procedure to be chosen (beauty contest, auction, lottery, first come first served, procurement), the transparency of the allocation process, and on legal protection (remedies) for interested parties. 

Recent research carried out in the Netherlands shows that the answers given to these questions in legal practice and legal science are usually not based on a general theory on the allocation of limited rights by national authorities. Answers and solutions appear to depend largely on the particularities of specific fields of law. How is the allocation of limited authorisations and grants regulated and implemented in other member states? And which influence of EU law (e.g. via the principle of transparency) can be observed in national practices?

During the international legal expert meeting, to be organised at Leiden University in January 2012, national experiences with the allocation of limited authorisations and grants will be compared.

Various general themes will be discussed, such as:
• allocation systems and issues of transparency;
• aspects of competition law (e.g. State aid);
• legal protection.

Particular attention will be paid to:
• gambling licenses;
• CO2 emission permits;
• radio frequencies.


The objectives of the expert meeting are:

  • to provide a legal forum for the direct exchange of national experiences with limited rights to be allocated by national authorities, in particular in the fields of gambling licenses, CO2 emission permits and radio frequencies;

  • to identify and tackle common legal problems concerning limited rights in EU member states (searching for best practices);

  • to have an exploratory discussion on the possible content of a general legal doctrine on the subject;

  • to provide a basis for future cooperation and exchange among the participants.

Target audience

Academics, representatives of member state authorities and private legal practitioners with an interest in the allocation of limited authorisations and grants in various fields of law. The total number of participants is limited to about 50-60 persons and registration is now closed.

See also the programme details and pratical information.

Last Modified: 13-01-2012